Ishmael Reed, editor of the anthology Black Hollywood Unchained, examines and responds to the contemporary portrayals of Blacks in films and television. Using the 2012 release of the film Django Unchained as the focal point of much of the discussion, these essays and reviews provide a critical perspective on the challenges facing filmmakers and actors when confronted with issues on race and the historical portrayal of African American characters. We’ll talk about Reed’s latest book and the black community’s perceptiveness as discerning and responsible consumers of film, theatre, art, and music.
Ishmael Reed is the author of thirty titles including the acclaimed novel Mumbo Jumbo, as well as essays, plays and poetry. Titles include: The Freelance Pallbearers; The Terrible Threes; The Last Days Of Louisiana Red; Yellow Back Radio Broke Down; Reckless Eyeballing; Flight To Canada; Japanese By Spring, and Juice!. Ishmael Reed is the winner of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship (genius award), the renowned L.A. Times Robert Kirsch Lifetime Achievement Award and the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Award. He has been nominated for a Pulitzer and finalist for two National Book Awards and is Professor Emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley; and founder of the Before Columbus Foundation, which promotes multicultural American writing. The American Book Awards, sponsored by the foundation has been called The American League to the National Book Awards’ National League. He also founded PEN Oakland which issues the Josephine Miles Literary Awards. PEN Oakland has been called “The Blue Collar PEN” by The New York Times.